Hands-On: Tissot T-Race Cycling 2022 Tour De France Special Edition
Tissot has held long-standing partnerships with major cycling events for half a century. Last year, the Swiss watchmaker reaffirmed its ongoing commitment as the official timekeeper for the Tour de France, the oldest endurance bicycle race. This year, for the 109th edition of this world-class spectacle, Tissot has launched the T-Race Cycling 2022 Tour de France Special Edition. This 45mm sports watch stands to bring a piece of the experience to the wrists of cycling and watch fans.
A no-mean-feat partnership
The partnership is not just a branding exercise. Tissot is a timing sponsor responsible for timekeeping and the live broadcasting of the race results. That may not tell you the depth of Tissot’s involvement. According to the mothership Swatch Group, the Tissot timekeeping ecosystem requires the development of cutting-edge technologies for time capture with one-ten-thousandth-of-a-second precision and accuracy to the millimeter. The company also needs to implement a myriad of hardware such as finish-line photocells, photo-finish cameras, transponders, and specialized computers for real-time processing.
The T-Race Cycling
Channeling all that hi-tech expertise into a wristwatch, Tissot promises Swiss quality and reliability in the quartz-powered T-Race Tour de France chronograph. Its ETA G10.212 caliber offers a battery end-of-life indicator, date and time displays, 30-minute and 1/10th-of-a-second counters, and a central 60-second stopwatch with ADD and SPLIT functions.
With the technical essentials covered, the hefty black PVD-coated stainless steel model offers a strong and sporty wrist presence. Tissot also says its ambassador Primož Roglič — three-time Vuelta winner, Olympic champion, and 2020 Tour de France runner-up — has helped inspire the watch with his elite performance.
Standing up to the test
The layered case construction stands 11.6mm thick and makes the watch incredibly attractive to look at. The use of carbon composite for the case body creates attractive visual contrasts with the satin-polished steel parts. Furthermore, it keeps the weight down to 105 grams, which is quite reasonable for a 45mm watch. The T-Race certainly serves as a tool watch as intended, be it for cycling or other activities that call for a rugged light watch.
Want to know how the watch fares in action? Rob had the chance to wear it while riding the actual Tour de France this year, so head over to his article here. Unsurprisingly, he reported it to be “a very wearable (and incredibly comfortable) watch on the wrist” and one that was “more than fit for the task”.
Racing-bike design cues
Aesthetically, the T-Race Cycling is replete with racing-bike inspirations and Tour de France detailing. For the latter, the most notable details are the race logo on the case back and the emblematic yellow accents on the seconds hand and crown. The mini-bicycle counterweight also pays homage to the sport.
Other design cues are more subtle, such as the dial’s grainy sandpaper texture, which is reminiscent of grip tape. The sub-dials are radially grained for another interesting texture. And the markers in the sub-dials evoke the look of the spokes of bike wheels. The hour markers are little eyelet-like circles while the tachymeter sits on the rehaut. The hands are lumed and a date window is positioned at 4 o’clock.
A rugged sports watch
On the exterior, the pushers are certainly inspired by brake levers and the lugs by the dropdown handlebars of a bicycle. The crown and the case back seem like a nod to the cassette. Sealing it all off is scratch-resistant sapphire crystal glass with an anti-reflective coating. The watch comes with a bi-material strap in perforated cow leather with a rubber lining echoing the handlebar grips of a bike.
The T-Race Cycling 2022 Tour de France Special Edition offers water resistance to 100 meters. This timepiece is priced at €595 including VAT and comes with Tissot’s two-year international guarantee.
For more information, visit Tissot’s official website.